View Full Version : very strange starting problem..

April 11th, 2008, 14:59
for the longest time i thought i had a bad starter/slinoid , it would seem it starts when it wants to , or even after i bang on the slinoid with a hammer , anyways , i replaced the starter today , and the same thing happens! all the accessories turn on but no start , it seems to start when it wants to after a few trys , or sometimes i even have to jump the starter with a wire attached to the slinoid terminal to the postive on my battery to get where i need to go , my next guess would be either somethin with the wiring , or the ignition ?

and is it possible to test the wiring and ignition with my friends Precision Diagnostic Instrument to find out exccatly wats going on? any help greatly appreciated , thanks guys

April 11th, 2008, 15:02
what year/transmission?
It could be a NSS or ignition swith on the top of the column, not the keyed tumbler the actual switch. Other guesses would be a relay or loose wiring, check all batery connections and where they bolt upto.

April 11th, 2008, 15:10
1995 Jeep Cherokee , inline 6 engine , automatic tranny

April 11th, 2008, 16:13
Solenoid...spell check is a wonderful thing

April 11th, 2008, 16:30
since its the automatic that means you have the AW4 trans and the neutral safety switch (NSS) has been known to "go bad" but unless the wires have actually corroded or been burnt its just the contacts inside the switch have gotten dirty and can be easily cleaned and brought back to perfect working order with out having to spend more than a couple bucks to get some cleaner and electrical grease at the local autozone instead of having to shell out a couple of hundred bucks for a new switch. there is a great write-up on how to do this at www.jeepin.com. if it does happen again before you get a chance to fix the NSS try putting the shifter in neutral and try starting it my roommate used to have a 98 XJ 4.0L auto that had the bad NSS and it would sometimes start in neutral but not in park. also sometimes tapping the NSS with a blunt object a few times can help it work too go to the www.jeepin.com and look at the write up and it will show a picture of the NSS and where to find it but i will tell you right now its on the passenger side of the transmission not hard to get to or find at all. Now if you are getting the clicking noise from the starter like with a really dead battery or getting a slight clicking noise and then all electricity in the jeep is gone then thats a bad battery or bad connections so i would check that. also check all the relays to make sure they are still good. if none of this fixes the problem i would then replace the ignition switch as mentioned by in2fords. Hope that helps and good luck

April 11th, 2008, 17:33
99.9% its the NSS. when it wont start run the shifter through all the gears, slam it back into park, and then try again.

have someone check to see if you reverse lights come on, also a tell-tale sign of a bad NSS. i could care less if my reverse lights work so i just bypassed mine, just be carefull to not try and start it in any gear but park ;) im too lazy to rebuild it. 1 small jumper wire and you're rolling again. i actually got stuck in front of a 7-11 for 2 hours trying to figure out what to do about :D

April 12th, 2008, 01:09
can i test the NSS with a PDI ?

April 12th, 2008, 10:01
can i test the NSS with a PDI ?

Your probably better off doing visual wire and connection inspections of the entire starting circuit first from the battery, to the starter relay, to the starter solenoid and then the ignition switch wires under the sterring column, looking for burned insulation, overheated or corroded wires and connections. Then test the battery voltage during starting (must be about 10.9 volts with the starter turning, and 12.5 volts minimum with engine off) and then test the starter relay, then the NSS in that order with a simple volt ohm multimeter. Not sure what a PDI is exactly, but all you need is a multimeter (volts).